The number of COVID-19 cases in Alabama is on the rise. While this increase is more of a slight ripple compared to the wave that’s affecting the rest of the United States, we’ll no doubt see a substantial increase in the weeks and months to come as the BA.2 variant spreads across the nation.
So, is this increase in cases something Alabamians and people in Tuscaloosa should be worried about? Is the BA.2 variant more dangerous than previous variants? And if yes, what can we do as a community to stop the spread and reduce the number of positive COVID-19 cases?
Dr. Peramsetty addresses these questions so you can get a better idea of how to move forward.
What is the BA.2 Variant?
The BA.2 variant is a new subvariant of the Omicron variant. Research has shown that this new variant is much more transmissible, harder to track compared to previous variants (which is why BA.2 has been dubbed the “stealth variant”), and now dominant worldwide. This dominance is triggering an increase in positive COVID-19 cases not only within the United States and in countries across the world.
According to the World Health Organization, the Omicron BA.2 variant represents around 86% of all sequenced cases — and that number is likely to rise.
On a positive note, the Omicron BA.2 variant has not been shown to cause more severe disease. However, that does not mean it’s not dangerous.
As with any COVID-19 variant, immunocompromised, unvaccinated, and other at-risk individuals are more likely to develop a severe case of the disease. Severe cases can cause serious respiratory problems, long COVID, and even death. This is why it is still crucial to get vaccinated—and get boosted—if you have not done so yet.
Should I Be Worried About the Rising Case Numbers?
Yes and no. While we understand that it is worrisome seeing the surge of new positive COVID-19 cases throughout the United States. However, if you are taking the necessary steps to protect yourself, your family, and your community from the virus, then you are doing all you can to help stop the spread and reduce your risk of severe illness.
These protective steps include:
Getting vaccinated and boosted
Regularly washing your hands with soap and water
Using hand sanitizer
Wearing a mask in public places and in crowds
Spending more time outdoors
Avoiding contact with individuals who have tested positive for COVID
Get regularly tested for COVID
However, it is important to understand that The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimates that only 7% of positive COVID-19 cases in the US are being detected.
This means that case rates are 14.5 times higher than officially reported, and many infected individuals are spreading the virus unknowingly. This is why it’s important to avoid crowds, test regularly, continue wearing masks, and get vaccinated.
COVID Testing in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
One of the best ways to help stop the spread and halt rising cases in Alabama and the United States is to get regularly tested for COVID. At Crimson Care, we offer quick and easy drive-thru COVID testing in Tuscaloosa, including PCR tests and rapid tests.
With only 7% of positive cases in the U.S. being detected, it’s crucial to get tested if you begin developing symptoms or have been exposed to the virus.
Additional COVID-19 Services at Crimson Care
Whether you need to test for COVID-19, get vaccinated, or receive your COVID-19 booster shot, Dr. Peramsetty and his experienced team are here to help with COVID-19 services in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.